Now entering Phase IV of Post-College Life

So far, this has been the most relaxing summer I’ve had in a long time. Last weekend I read my book (Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan – pretty good chick lit summer book), watched some HGTV, tried streaming Netflix through Wii for the first time (and ended up watching a few episodes of the first season of Laguna Beach, as if I needed to prove to myself how pathetic I really am), and actually got to the point where I was a little bit bored.

I was forced to make pina coladas on Sunday night just to spice things up a bit.

It was wonderful.

Then it hit me. The reason why this summer is much less busy than any other summer in recent memory is the staggering lack of weddings and wedding-related events. And that is a result of this:

We have now entered Phase IV of Post-College Life.

Here’s a rundown of the Phases of Post-College Life, in case you’re not familiar with them (which is likely since I pretty much just made them up in my head about 2 seconds ago):

Phase I: You recently graduated from college and have begun the job search. This basically means that you and your friends are all living with your parents, going out every night, and checking out online job postings during the day whenever Mom is around so she won’t feel like you’re taking the free food and laundry service for granted. This phase can last anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of years. (If you remain in this phase longer than two years, you are dropped from the Phases of Life for Normal People and enter the downward spiral to Loserville. Sadly, only a decently-paying job can save you now.)

Phase I

Phase II: You found a job! Or got into grad school! You move out of your parents’ house…eventually. (There is no shame in taking advantage of the free room and board until the 2 years before the downward spiral to Loserville expire.) And now you and your friends are busy working, going to happy hour, and hitting up the singles scene on the weekends.

Phase II

Phase III: Ahh, love. People are coupling off left and right. There are engagements, marriages, and commitments to same-sex partners. And you spend the months of April – October attending weddings, showers, and bachelorette parties like it’s your job. Much of your salary goes toward gifts, bridesmaid dresses and flights. But the open bars and regular opportunities to get all of your friends together are totally worth it. This is the phase I thought I was in…until recently.

Phase III

Phase IV: Here’s where I am. The deluge of weddings/commitments/”we’re moving in together” parties have slowed to a mere trickle. A majority of your friends have adopted the “we-speak” and are officially part of a couple. Then come the pregnancies, baby showers and actual babies. And here’s the cruel reality of life: the one BAD thing from the previous phase follows you into this phase – shower games. Except now instead of making wedding dresses out of toilet paper, you’re sniffing little turds of melted chocolate candy bars in diapers. So yes, it gets worse.

Phase IV

After that point, you enter the Phases of Family Life. This bores me, so I will not be discussing it here.

Here’s proof that I have officially entered Phase IV of Post-College Life:

2006: 7 weddings; 0 friends with babies

2007: 9 weddings (including my own!); 0 friends with babies

2008: 7 weddings; 2 friends with babies

2009: 8 weddings; 3 friends with babies

2010: 4 weddings; 6 friends with babies (and 3 on the way)

The tide is rapidly turning in favor of the babies!

(Coming up with that count is 20 minutes of my life that I will never get back – but it’s kind of interesting, no?)

I’ll definitely miss the parties, free booze and chance to see all of our friends together on a regular basis. But if it means more relaxing and reading my book on the front porch with pina colada in hand…then welcome, Phase IV! I think I’ll be kicking back and enjoying this phase (and other people’s babies) for awhile.